WHEN: JULY 11, 1964 WHERE: BRANDS HATCH WINNER: JIM CLARK (LOTUS-CLIMAX)
After alternating between Aintree and Silverstone from 1955, the British Grand Prix found a new second home in deepest Kent. It was an era of great drivers in diminutive 1.5-litre unsupercharged cars. Jimmy Clark (Lotus-climax Type 25), Graham Hill (BRM P261) and Dan Gurney (Brabham-climax BT7) comprised the front row with Jack Brabham’s BT7 and John Surtees (Ferrari 158) on row two and Bruce Mclaren’s Cooper-climax T73 on the inside of the third. Although Dan led briefly at the start, Jimmy hugged the inside line at Druids to hold the lead. Gurney soon had to retire with ignition failure but Hill took up the challenge and, for the next 79 laps, was a constant presence on the tailpipes of the Lotus, relentlessly trying to pressure Jimmy into a mistake, which never came.
There might have been no placechanging or pit stops, but it was a thoroughly absorbing duel between two world champions who finished 2.8s apart, having lapped everyone except John Surtees, who would become that year’s world champion.
A pointer to the future occurred during Friday’s practice session when an up-and-coming Formula 3 driver from Scotland was let loose by Colin Chapman in one of the Team Lotus Type 25s and was immediately on the pace.
Before the year was out Jackie Stewart would race and win for Team Lotus before becoming Graham Hill’s team-mate at BRM for 1965.